Researchers hunt for missing meteorite - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Researchers hunt for missing meteorite

Mary Zakrajsek Mary Zakrajsek
Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Carmel - A rare phenomenon in a Carmel neighborhood last month has created a buzz among scientists worldwide. One Indiana scientific investigator believes it was a meteor that struck the home - one of 14 known to have occurred in Indiana. Researchers hope to find the rock that may help better understand our universe.

The hole in the roof of Mary Zakrajsek's Carmel home is one of two put there on August 12th. The size of tennis balls, the discovery has attracted the attention of scientists around the world. Zakrajsek and her family remember what happened during the annual Perseid Meteor shower.

"The first thing I heard was a sonic boom. I've heard sonic booms before and there's no question that's what I heard," he said.

Neighbors reported hearing what sounded like cannon fire, then seeing a large black smoke ring above the roof. When firefighters arrived, they located a heat source in the wall of the home but didn't recover what geologists believe is one of only a few meteorites to hit Indiana, a scientifically valuable object they hope is somewhere in the house.

"They can offer valuable insight about conditions very early in the history of the solar system," said Dr. Nelson Shaffer, Indiana Geological Survey.

Only around a dozen meteorites are recovered around the earth each year, often entering the atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour and creating the sonic boom Mary Zakrajsek and her neighbors heard. "We all thought it was some explosion in the attic but there's nothing to indicate that. It was the holes and heat source," she said.

Small particles found indicate that a meteor likely stuck the house, an even rarer phenomenon. Now scientists hope to find the space rock that may help provide a better understanding of the origins of the Universe.

Reseachers hope to recover the meteor that may be lodged in an upstairs bedroom wall. The family has also received offers from collectors to sell the rock. They say they're not sure what they're going to do if they find it.

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